Declining Fortunes of Islamic State

This video posted on social media purports to show rebel fighters in the village of Dabiq, Syria.

Rebels — as well as Turkey, which backs them — said they fully captured the village from Islamic State on Sunday.

Their victory forced the jihadists from their symbolic stronghold where they had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.

The rebels were backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes, in a joint offensive Ankara launched with the rebels in August.

The defeat in Dabiq in the latest in a series of setbacks Islamic State has suffered.

In neighboring Iraq, government forces have been preparing for a major offensive on Mosul, the last Iraqi city still under the control of Islamic State.

On Sunday, the Iraqi army said it dropped tens of thousands of leaflets on the city.

The messages said the army wouldn’t target civilians, but warned residents to avoid areas where Islamic State militants gather.

Iraqi army officials said the assault could begin this month, with the support of a U.S.-led coalition, but Islamic State fighters are dug in and are expected to fight hard.

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